Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN

Jill is a Registered Dietitian specializing in pediatric nutrition and medical nutrition therapy. She is the founder of Pediatric Nutrition of Green Hills, L.L.C. and creator of “Just The Right Byte,” a nutrition blog. She shares her expertise through writing, blogging, consulting and speaking. 

The Scary Side of Halloween – Artificial Food Dyes
While kids are focused on planning their costumes and candy collecting routes, many parents are worried about sugar content and how to manage their youngsters’ appetite for sweets. I have written about ways to handle candy in the past, but today I am targeting food dyes. From cereal to yogurt, food dyes are infused in countless items in our food supply. In the candy category, it’s usually off the charts.
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What Parents Need to Know About Teenage Weight Gain
For some teenagers, putting on some extra weight can be a normal part of their development. For others, weight gain is a sign that eating habits and physical activity are getting off track. As a parent, there’s a fine line to walk when your teen starts to show signs of gaining too many pounds. What should you do? Should you do anything at all?
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What Too Many Parents Do Wrong About Their Kids’ Nutrition
For parents it can be difficult to understand their children’s eating cues. Many wonder why feeding has to be so hard? If that applies to you, maybe you’re getting it all wrong. Ask yourself if you’re doing any of the following things.
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How Parents Program Their Babies and Toddlers for Obesity
We are quick to blame food for the childhood obesity problem. From fructose and soda to junk food and fast food, there are a plethora of guilty foods in a child’s world. But focusing on food as the sole culprit is a little bit short-sighted, and neglects the powerful role of feeding. Don’t get me wrong. I agree that many of today’s food products make it hard to avoid overeating. But don’t be misled by thinking it’s food’s fault alone. Many problems with childhood overweight begin during the high chair years.
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Managing the Food Competition in Schools
Many parents don’t know what their kids are eating at school, assuming they are getting well-balanced meals. That’s not always the case. I’ve had parents vent their frustration about vending machines, concession stands, classroom parties and bake sales that supply an endless stream of so-called “fun foods.” The ultimate frustration is the lack of support from the schools themselves when it comes to regulating the types of food the children are exposed to.
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Appropriate Food Portions for Kids of All Ages
How much food should I serve my child? How do I know if I am over- or under-serving my child? Do servings change as my child grows? If you find yourself wondering how much to feed your child, you’re not alone. And if you’re worried about your child eating too little or too much, this post will help put your mind at ease with information you can use today.
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Tips for Eating the Mediterranean Way
This month is ”Mediterranean Diet Month.” Have you ever been to Crete, Greece or Italy? If so, then you have probably tasted the cuisine and have a sense of what “Mediterranean” means when it comes to food. But if not, don’t let that stop you from introducing some of the healthiest foods on the planet to your children, right here at home.
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How Not to Manage Your Child’s Weight
Research shows that restrictive feeding of young children can backfire and result in weight gain and negative eating patterns such as hiding, sneaking, hoarding food and eating for reasons other than hunger.
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Seven Tips to Fuel Young Athletes
What kind of food do you pack for your little athlete to eat when he or she is competing? Parents often ask for my suggestions, whether it’s for a short event or an all day competition. The most important thing to keep in mind is this: Snacks are fuel, not treats, not rewards. They provide an energy source your child can draw on. Therefore, you want this to be “premium” fuel – not low-octane.
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What Will It Take to Get America’s Kids to Eat Right?
Parents get a lot of information about feeding their babies in the first year, but after that nutrition information becomes a hodge-podge of contradicting messages. Confused parents should not hesitate to consult with professional health care providers trained in pediatric nutrition. Still, there are many factors to consider when introducing kids to healthy eating habits.
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The articles written by guest contributors are the sole responsibility of the individual writers in terms of factual accuracy and opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of this blog.

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